Monday, October 01, 2012
Many farmers have received a notice in the mail about Supervisor
Training. The official-looking and threatening notice states
they would have to take a 60-minute class on the use of
alcohol...either online or in person…and another 60-minute class on
drug abuse. The notice identifies itself as having come from
the "Supervisor Compliance Department." Is this legit?
That notice is what most people would call "junk mail." As
with any junk mail, some recipients might choose to take advantage
of the offer, many others don't need it or prefer other
It all depends on whether the farmer or any of his/her employees
are required to be enrolled in a drug & alcohol screening
program. That, in turn, is predicated on whether the driver
is required to have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL.)
(Find more on regulations affecting farmers at:
ITS AGGRESSIVE NATURE IS TROUBLING:
The aggressive and misleading marketing tactics used by the
advertiser has been brought to the attention of Anne Ferro,
Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
(FMCSA.) She has looked into it and has sent the advertisers
a stern warning about their approach. Here are some of the
FMCSA actions to-date:
¨ Notice has been posted on the news and alerts section of
FMCSA's website. The link is
¨ A similar notice will be included in all FMCSA new
entrant packets warning carriers of this aggressive marketing
¨ FMCSA's Office of Chief Counsel continues to monitor all
complaints that they receive about these companies and are
investigating other potential actions that could be taken to either
modify or stop the notices that are being sent to carriers.
The offending company is likely finding the contact information
through a legitimate FMCSA link however their misuse of the
carrier's information and of FMCSA/DOT logos could warrant a cease
and desist letter.
FARMERS NEED TO KNOW:
¨ This notice that many farmers are getting about Supervisor
Training is from a private firm that provides that Supervisor
Training for a fee.
¨ The training is intended to fulfill requirements of the
Drug & Alcohol Screening Program (DASP.)
[49 CFR 382]
¨ This article makes no judgment on the quality of the
training program offered in the "junk mail."
¨ The company offering the training is NOT a government
¨ HOWEVER, the training requirement they refer to is
real. It's something farmers should be aware of.
¨ The official-looking notice is being sent to farmers (and
non-farmers) who have registered for the USDOT Number.
[Note: Some of the information about USDOT Number holders is
legitimately available on the internet.]
¨ The FMCSA training requirement applies only to employers
who employ drivers (including themselves) required to hold a CDL
and be enrolled in a DASP.
(Many farmers and some farm employees are exempt from the CDL,
therefore exempt from the DASP.)
¨ If you are self employed
and the sole employee, then supervisor training is not
required. (See guidance below after downloading
The FMCSA regulation requiring the training is short and is copied
here in its entirety:
Subpart F - Alcohol misuse and controlled substances use
information, training, and referral
§ 382.603 Training for supervisors.
Each employer shall ensure that all persons designated to
supervise drivers receive at least 60 minutes of training on
alcohol misuse and receive at least an additional 60 minutes of
training on controlled substances use. The training will be used by
the supervisors to determine whether reasonable suspicion exists to
require a driver to undergo testing under
§382.307. The training shall include the physical, behavioral,
speech, and performance indicators of probable alcohol misuse and
use of controlled substances. Recurrent training for supervisory
personnel is not required.
Training can be accomplished in a number of ways; it is up to the
employer to ascertain whether the training fulfills the federal
requirement. A number of private interests offer such
training; but the employer can devise his/her own training
program. It can take the form of DVDs, online courses,
inperson seminars, reading, etc.
If you participate in a drug & alcohol screening program
provided through the Midwest Truckers Association (MTA) [either
through a membership in that organization or through the Illinois
Farm Bureau® member program with them], then you can give MTA a
call at 217-525-0310 and ask about available seminars or DVD
rentals. Both are provided for a fee.
Other private suppliers of seminars and DVDs for sale include
(among others): www.JJKeller.com, and www.LabelMaster.com.
If you employ any driver-including yourself-who is required to
have a CDL because of the work they do for your farming operation,
then you must enroll those drivers in a drug & alcohol
screening program (DASP.)
You will need to assign someone to serve as "supervisor" for that
That supervisor must be trained in accordance with
§382.603 This training is sometimes also be referred to
as Reasonable Suspicion Training.
For more details on whether a farmer is required to have a CDL,
refer to the Driver Qualifications document at
Illinois Department of Transportation
Office of Motor Carrier Safety
Illinois Secretary of State's Office
Commercial Driver's License Section
CDL Help Desk
To download a PDF version of the Supervisor Training and
Guidance from FMCSA click here.
For More Info Contact:
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